Interpreting History

Claudia Elzinga

READ : 2 Chronicles 26-28

The biblical writers provide us with reliable historical facts, but that is not their primary interest. They are inspired by the Holy Spirit to interpret history, providing lessons for our instruction.

Notice how often the word because is used. “Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the Lord” (27:6). Pekah “slew a hundred and twenty thousand in Judah . . . because they had forsaken the Lord” (28:6). “The Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz, king of Israel, for he had dealt wantonly in Judah and had been faithless to the Lord” (28:19). God causes some things to happen to people because of the way they live. The same is true of nations. That is how God dealt with people, both in the days of the kings and today.

As we have noted before, what counted most was whether a king did what was right in the sight of the Lord. The Bible is above all God’s self-revelation; it shows us what kind of a God He is by showing us how He acts and reacts to human behavior. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He acts now as He acted in the past and as He will act in the future. Paul says that the Old Testament stories are given for our instruction, that we may not make the same mistakes the people made in the past. This is how the Word of the living God speaks to us.

PRAYERFather, help us to learn from the mistakes of others and therefore receive Your blessings. In Christ. Amen.